In comparison to the enormous carnage seen on America's roadways involving solely motor vehicles (causing an estimated 33,000 deaths annually), it might seem a minor problem. However, 700 deaths in a single year - 2012 - is cause for concern. That's only slightly fewer than the number of people killed in recreational boating incidents, so it warrants the attention of motorists.
Just recently in Alabama, a 27-year-old former contestant on the hit show "Survivor" was killed in Birmingham while working as a conductor when an axle on one of the cars derailed and he was thrown into another car in the yard.
Some of the more common causes of train accidents in Alabama include:
- Failing mechanics
- Malfunctioning lights or signals
- Inadequate track maintenance
- Failure to install/maintain safety gates
- Unprotected crossings
- Conductor negligence
- Defective train or parts